Not only a new year, but a whole new decade is upon us. As we all settle into our winter routines, I thought I would take a look at some of the cool pop-ups that have been happening over the last couple of months and will continue into the winter.
First up is my good friend Alex Hendry. He’s the cocktail mastermind behind the monthly pop-ups that occurred over the Summer at Sugar Skull Cantina on Water Street. Obviously, it wouldn’t be very much fun to go down to that patio and sip on Alex’s signature booze-forward drinks, so he’s turned his mind towards spirits education. Alex hosted his first event, a scotch tasting, in Marc’s Lounge in November. He highlighted several excellent scotches and helped us understand the distilling and tasting process. I particularly enjoyed the fact that the majority of his selections were well under the $100 mark. Alex promises to do more of these tastings over the winter at Marc’s, so keep your eyes peeled for event information.
Sommelier Lesley Quinn has also made a big splash on her return to the Island. She’s consulted on the wine list with both HopYard and the newly opened Slaymaker & Nichols on Fitzroy Street. HopYard’s new wine list is much improved and very affordable. On top of this work, Lesley has been trying to grow the wine culture on the Island through educational pop-ups. I’ve managed to attend three of them—on Malbec, Portuguese wine, and Sparkling—and they’ve all been excellent and extremely informative. Lesley has her own Instagram and Facebook pages if you’re at all interested; check her out as StellarSomm. She has events scheduled for January as well as a very exciting Valentine’s Day event coming up.
And, last but not least, is Nigel Thompson aka Sneaky Cheats. Nigel is back at it weekly at the Firehall on Kent Street in Charlottetown. Nigel makes some of the best food on the Island and it’s nice to see him back on the weekly rotation. Truly, one of my favourite things to do over the Winter is to meet friends at the firehall, grab a pint and enjoy Nigel’s food. I’m particularly excited that he’s offering more composed plates these days. His pulled pork plate with coleslaw and mac and cheese was really amazing and keep your eye out for his fried chicken dinner. The only thing as delightful as Nigel’s food is his mother who handles service (and if the rumours are true, the bread and butter pickles recipe).
People told me that the winters on PEI would be terrible, but with so many cool pop-ups and excuses to hang out with friends, they really aren’t too bad. Afterall, PEI is such a social province that unique traditions like Levee Day continue stronger than ever. So, keep warm, go eat some good food and I’ll check in to make sure we aren’t all snowed under in February.